Let’s take it back to Something Beautiful 

It’s funny how we watch romance movies and say it’s just a movie that doesn’t happen in real life. We live in a time where mostly everything is simplified and convenient, especially our relationships. Nowadays relationships seem to start off with a hook-up and then maybe turn into friends-with-benefits. Oh that’s just the way things work out now right? Sex is nothing special, just a serge of hormones that need to be released. So a few text messages, or a swipe right is put in play and that’s it. Make some steam with someone while it’s convenient because it’s just human nature. Then we complain, put blame, yell, and sometimes experience depression when a romantic relationship doesn’t workout. Sometimes felling empty or like a piece of us is taken away. 

Truth is, part of us is being taken away. We need to take some steps back and put that part of our human nature back to something beautiful. The way is was meant to be. I understand not everyone shares the same faith or follow the bible. Shoot, I’m not perfect. But  I stumbled across this YouTube of John Mark Comer who is the author of Loveology. He talks about sex and marriage and why it is something that is meant to be so beautiful within marriage. So many of us have strayed away from this.
 
So Comer mentions, how the word “Echad” is used in the book of Genesis 2 from the Bible.

 “In sexuality two people become Echad, or it can be translated to one flesh. Echad is a graphic weighty word, that basically means when it’s put together with this word flesh, it means fused together at the deepest level...it is the bonding of two people into one entity. Body and soul, physical and spiritual. Cultural says hey it’s just play what’s the big deal? But God says whoa, no. It’s way more than that. It’s two people that become one entity, and then over and over enjoy and express love for one another through sexuality. Inside of marriage this is beautiful because it takes two people and doesn’t let them drift apart. It keeps them Echad or one. Outside of marriage this can be dehumanizing because it can turn people into objects for basically self gratification. Every time you walk away from a sexual partner it’s as if you are tearing Echad, as if part of you is lost, if you do that enough times then it starts to hollow you out.”

Wow! For me, that part of the Bible gives me clarification on why I am so hesitant to start a relationship. Especially a modern nonchalant relationship. I don’t want to jump into a sexual relationship and tear Echad or even worse, hollow myself out. I think people need to take things back to the something beautiful they were meant to be. I know a lot of people will say oh this is an out dated way of thinking. Ladies and gentlemen, no more complaining about how you regular booty-call isn’t working out into a relationship. We all have the power to take relationships and sexuality back to that higher meaning. Make it something beautiful.
I know it’s not Music Ministry Monday, but I found a prayer in the song Something Beautiful by NeedToBreathe. We can make those, breathe taking romances we see in movies our reality. We just have to be willing to take it back to something beautiful it was meant to be.

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, ’cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I’m in reach
‘Cause I am down on my knees, I’m waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

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Texas: TopGolf San Antonio

So TopGolf San Antonio opened, have you been? My Facebook news feed has been flooded with check-ins there. I tried to go Saturday afternoon the 2nd weekend, after it was opened. It seemed like everyone in the city also tried. There was a 4-5 hour wait list! Cool, but no I don’t have patience to wait that long. 



The next day, I was all dressed up and ready to spend an afternoon around The Historic Pearl, celebrating my birthday. I called my friend, Joseph, to see if he was ready to go. Instead, he asked if I wanted to go to TopGolf. First, I laughed, then I told him about my experience the night before. To my surprise he said, “oh Vic’s already there and just got a bay.”  Of course, I was in!



We arrived around 3:30pm and the parking lots were packed, so we decided to valet. Only $7 to valet, not bad at all! Our friends had a bay on the second floor. Not nearly as crowded as the night before, thank goodness. Golf balls flying, music playing and drinks flowing. I was starving and I order the Chicken and Waffle slider. Yep, you read that right. Two delicious mini waffles with a fried chicken patty in the middle and a side of some maple syrup. Mhmm! So good!



On the weekends it’s $40 an hour per bay. About 6-7 people can play per bay. Well, the guys took turns each paying for an hour and I think we left around 8:30pm. Basically when you first start you swipe your membership card then, later you can choose how you want to play. We decided to hit about 5 balls per turn. I was so rusty. Oh well. Joseph wasn’t playing, but he said he could probably hit the net. I decided to bet him three try’s that he couldn’t. He said he’s played golf  two or three times on a full course. Well, shoot I got hustled! First, swing shook off some dust. Second swing was practice. Third swing, third swing hit the back net. So a round of shots was on me. After that the guys decided to play with an all around bet. Lowest scores has to be a full round of shots. Whew! It was actually one of the guys that hit the lowest score! 



A bit pricey if you’re going to be there all afternoon. Between just two of us, our tab was about $150, but that’s including one hour of bay time and tip.  It was to celebrate my birthday and it was a blast. I can’t wait to go back. 

Discover Austin Texas: Mt. Bonnell

Super bowl Sunday, Fierce the dog and I went hiking around Mt. Bonnell. What a spectacular view. We succeeded in finding Fierce new trees to pee on at new heights!

Taste Texas: Austin: Chi’Lantro

Did you know here’s food that is so sinfully good, even the devil will thank God for? When I first moved to Austin my friend, Jack, took me to a Chi’Lantro food truck during South By South West. Wow! I can’t believe that was just about two years ago. Mhmm! The night my tastebuds meet their Kimchi Fries!

So Kimchi Fries, are some nicely crisp fries, with some Korean BBQ mixed with kimchi (your choice of beef bulgogi, chicken, pork, or tofu)on top, then a blend of shredded cheeses on top of that, and then some of their magic sauce And deliciously topped with sesame seeds and cilantro! Oh, but wait, I added a fried egg on top of mine! Are you drooling? Is your mouth uncontrollably watering? Because mine is!

Well, just around my birthday they opened their brick & mortar location on South Lamar. Jump for joy, walking distance from my place! So naturally, I went to check it out just after my birthday. I love it, bright and minimal. Their restaurant menu is different than their food trucks. I indulged in some K-Pop wings (love the name) with Gangnam sauce and Kimchi Fried Rice Balls. You can even order a beer. When I went they had a bunch of local brews on tap. I’ll stop, mostly because I just made myself so hungry. Go check it out.

Peak Fitness: Workouts for gym or home

Ever go to the gym, see all the machine, and get overwhelmed? Thinking: what do I do? Where do I start? How much do I do? Help! help! help! I just want tone up. I did all the time until I started working out with my friend Brandon. He showed me a bunch of workouts I could even do at home, to help me tone and reach my peak fitness.  Now, by peak fitness, I’m not talking about bulking, lifting, shredding and looking like a he/she. Eh not for me. Some of my friends do that and some look great but some I have to take a step back, do a double look and remember if they are a girl or guy.

I just like to stay active, fit and toned. I’m naturally petite so a big thing Brandon helps me focus on is breathing right. Elementary right? You’d be surprised how many people don’t breathe right during their workouts and it makes a world of a difference, in seeing results and staying toned.

Modified push-ups: putting an emphasis on keeping the core tight, and exhaling when stretching for your target.

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 Leg pull-ins: place your hands or elbows on the ground, inhale as you fully extend your legs, and exhale as you contract the legs in, focusing on keeping your feet level with your line of vision.

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 Bridge: this workout starts with your feet planted firmly on the ground, with a separation between your feet equal with your shoulders, exhale and raise the hips up, focusing on using your thighs and gluteus to push and tighten your core.
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 Alternating arm-raises: tightening your wrist and placing s slight bend in your elbow, exhale as you raise the weights to shoulder level, inhale as you lower your arms and rotate them to the forwards position, repeat to completion.

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 “Punch-crunches”: start in regular sit-up position, hands on the side of your head, exhale and reach across your body, aiming to get your elbow parallel to your knee
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 Modified Mountain Climbers: start in the push-up position, and rapidly bring your knees up to your elbows, across the body, and exhaling as when you bring your knee to your elbow

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Texas: Shop local for your San Antonio Rodeo Ready Outfits

Ladies! The smell of BBQ and manure is in the air. The 2015 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo is here. Have you put together your rodeo get up yet? I’ve got you covered. I visited some local boutiques around San Antonio to find some fabulous outfits. You know, “these boots were made for walking,” well let’s add to that some class and southern sassy outfits that will make those cowboy hats tip. I even found a boutique that will have a booth at the rodeo grounds!

First up, Moda Mia Fashion Boutique. Now this is the place to get some chic trendy dresses! I was caught off guard by the beautiful selection and left with a dress for my birthday, instead of the rodeo. Either way, take a look at some of my favorites from Moda Mia!

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Next, up is Montage Vintage. Yep, vintage! It’s a vintage up-cycle boutique and I found  amazing pieces. Some maybe even for those that “walk the line.” 

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Last, but definitely not least, cause I had to save the best for last is Double Back Ranch! I found out about their store while I was at the Rodeo BBQ cook-off. They are located in St. Hedwig, which just a little off east 1604, and a few miles away from my Dad’s ranch! Their store is adorable from top to bottom. Everything with a little class and southern sass, home decor, dresses, skirts, shorts, pants, t-shirts, and accessories. So, if you like to get all dolled up or just more of a jeans and t-shirt gal, they have you covered! St. Hedwig, looking a little out of the way on the map? Guess what!?!? They have a pretty fabulous booth on the rodeo grounds this year! Perfect, if you’re going straight from work and need a glamorous wardrobe change. They are going to be in the Two-Step Expo. Hall booth 507-509.

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If y’all have an suggestions on local boutiques that are also rodeo ready let me know!

Taste: ThaiTexican: Thai Fried Quinoa with Fajita Chicken

Being half Thai and half Texican, sometimes I like to combine recipes. The Thai fried quinoa recipe, is the exact same recipe my dad taught me for Thai fried rice, just a little better for me.

Fajita Chicken

  • 4 thin sliced chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon fajita seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups water

Now I don’t like to make the fajita chicken too strong in flavor, since the Thai fried quinoa will already have a full taste.

Place the chicken in a baking dish and cover with the Worcestershire sauce. Then add the garlic powder and fajita season on top. Last add about a cup of water and place back into the fridge to marinate for about an hour.

Once an hour has passed cook boil chicken in a frying pan with a cup of water.

Thai Fried Quinoa:

  • 1 Cup quinoa
  • 1/3 cup sliced onions
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon garlic chili
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil

First cook quinoa, usually it’s double the amount of water for the amount of quinoa. Bring to a boil and then let simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes. Once done put in the freezer to chill, while cooking the rest,and some the excess moisture will dry out.

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Next, heat peanut oil and then toss in onions. After onions start frying, crack egg and continue to stir fry/scramble. Once egg is cooked mix in garlic chili. Then pull quinoa out of the freezer and add to stir fry evenly mixing ingredients. Pour in fish sauce and Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce and continue to evenly stir fry. Take the heat down to a low setting and add in cilantro, scallions, and palm sugar.

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Now add the fajita chicken and enjoy!

Music Ministry Monday: Speak Love

How do you speak? What words do you say the most to express yourself? Take a moment and reflect on a typical conversation you may have had with a friend, a family member, co-worker, or even someone in passing. How do their words make you feel about their personality? Ever stop and think how your own words convey yourself to others?

I know my communication style with work is a director, but at the same time, y’all will never hear a curse from my lips. Okay, I know “never say never.” Sometimes, it’s shocking to my friends but then they think back on our conversations and realize the worse words I say extend to “crap” and “hell.”

In the song “The Proof of Your Love,” by For King & Country, they sing of showing, speaking, acting so that every things you do conveys the proof of your love for God.

“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-7, The Message)”

 

 

Also, JJ Weeks Band sings the same message in Let Them See You.

“Let them see you in me Let them hear you when I speak. Let them see you let them see you in me.”

 

 

Some people find it attractive to hear curse words. They think, now there’s a person that’s confident. Nowadays, it’s become just a normal part of mostly everyone’s vocabulary. I think it’s taken a lot of courage and confidence for me to choose to speak love.

I can not write or speak about my faith without also showing it in everything I do. If I were to speak with curse words, it would discredit my messages of faith and love. I don’t think anyone would see the love and grace of a God I want to convey. So speak love, so that the grace of God shows in everything you do.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Ephesians 4:29

Taste Texas: Houston: Bellaire: Cafe 101 & Hong Kong Dim Sum

Just before my 27th birthday, I decided to visit some of my best friends in Houston. I love that they love to eat delicious food like me!

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I arrived Friday night and within 30 minutes I was on The Wave. It’s a shuttle bus service that’s $15 per person. They will pick and drop along their routes. Since my friend’s place was along their routes we called and scheduled our picks and drop offs. It was a party inside, with black lights, music, and a pole.

The rest of the night was spent, celebrating another friend’s birthday at Gloria’s with VIP bottle service and salsa dancing. Well, mostly dancing. We’re all about the same age and just about in the same places in our lives, and don’t find it fun getting drunk and having a hangover.

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Since none of us woke up with a hangover, we were up early and ready to eat. My friend Trish decided to take us to Cafe 101 in Bellaire. First, it’s gorgeous inside, I’m biased cause my favorite color is purple. Purple and silver detailed decorated wall and seats. If it were after sunset, it would definitely have a romantic atmosphere. We went for lunch so the atmosphere was fun and energetic with top hits music playing.

imageTrish and Darvin ordered the kimchi hotpot, and a side of the spicy salmon sushi roll. Dante ordered the Shitoki mushroom hotpot. I ordered Singaporean noodles and also side of the spicy salmon sushi roll. The hotpots had a great flavor. Stir them around and you’ll find a few chunks of bone. Now that’s what gives the soup stock a rich flavor. The Singaporean noodles, were glass noodles in a light yellow curry sauce with chicken and shrimp. Just enough curry to get it a hint of a little kick but not too much to over power the dish. Mhmm! Oh, and don’t forget the spicy salmon sushi rolls. Whew, they were good and spicy. Glad I also got some Thai Tea with tapioca pearls to cool that down.

imageSince my birthday was coming up, we got all dressed up in pink and went out to Midtown for the night. Started at Drinkery and danced a little bit until everyone else met up with us. Then headed to Red Door. Upstairs was fun not so crowded and great music to dance and sing-a-long to. (When I go out I really don’t care much for drinking. I just love to dance!) We checked out downstairs but it was way too crowded. Being squished against a stinky, sweaty stranger attempting a bad dance move and spilling most of your drink on yourself or the person next to you is not my idea of fun. Thank goodness we headed back upstairs really quickly. Dance, dance, dance! About 1:20am we decided to leave early, pick up a few pizzas and go back to Trish’s and play a game of Cards Against Humanity.

Wake up flawless, just kidding, but it’s nice to have a great time out with some best friends and not having any drunk drama or wake up with a hangover. Again since we were all up relatively early, we decided to have a Dim Sum Sunday! Back to Bellaire we went. Hong Kong Dim Sum is a pretty tiny restaurant with a long line outside. The way it works to get a table, you tell the hostess how many people are in your group and they give you a number for a specific table that can fit your group. So basically, you’re waiting for the group already sitting at that table to finish. We got table B7, so of course when they called our number, Dante yelled “BINGO!”

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The menu is mostly pictures and they give you an order list that you write down the number of dishes you want. We ordered a total of 14 dishes. Man, I love Dim Sum Sundays! Sticky rice in tea leaves, chicken feet, bao, beef spare ribs, crispy shrimp balls, shu mai, hagou, oh my! I don’t even remembers everything we ordered. It was all scrumptious. Nothing had a freezer burn taste, which happens occasionally, at other dim sum restaurants. So good and priced pretty well. Splitting the bill between the four of us it was about $20.00 each.

With a full belly and happy heart I got back on the road to Austin. I adore and cherish these friends, Trish, Annie, and Angela & Todd, I love y’all. So happy and blessed to have friends that actually care about how we’re all doing. I don’t get to see and catch up with y’all often but when I do, it’s like no time has passed. I think Trish said it best:

“true friends are hard to find. I’m happy I can pick up a phone and call you and it was like the conversation never stopped. As we get older we realize it is less important to have lots of friends and more important to have real ones.”